Broncos, Sean Payton should consider legendary RB comeback

New Orleans Saints v Carolina Panthers
New Orleans Saints v Carolina Panthers / Grant Halverson/GettyImages

The Denver Broncos could use some veteran help at the running back position, and it just so happens that an NFL legend with ties to the front office and coaching staff might want to continue playing in 2023...

Adrian Peterson, a 2007 first-round pick who was part of the first NFL Draft class that George Paton was part of with the Minnesota Vikings, says that he's not "mentally" decided to hang up the cleats just yet. Who knows? It could be interesting to see what he could still do.

Peterson became an NFL legend during his time with the Minnesota Vikings. He was one of the scariest backs to face on a week-to-week basis and he was appropriately recognized, earning four All-Pro nods, 7 Pro Bowl nods, and winning the 2012 MVP award. He last played in 2021 but ran for over 1,000 yards as recently as 2018 with Washington.

Is it crazy to think Peterson could still come back and run well for an NFL team? It might be best to ask someone like Sean Payton, who has actually coached Peterson in the past. While George Paton knows Peterson well from their time in Minnesota together, Payton also has experience with Peterson since Peterson spent the 2017 season in New Orleans with the Saints.

During that 2017 season, Peterson ran for just 81 yards in four games with New Orleans, but it's still a notable connection.

Why would Adrian Peterson be motivated to sign with the Denver Broncos?

Despite recent news that Javonte Williams could be ready for the start of training camp, the Denver Broncos might be wise to have as many bodies on hand at the running back position as possible. Adrian Peterson isn't going to come in as the RB1, but it would be an Oklahoma fan's absolute dream to see both Peterson and Samaje Perine together on the same team, wouldn't it? Perine and Peterson played 10 years apart with Oklahoma, but Perine ended up surpassing all OU running backs -- Peterson included -- on the school's all-time rushing list. Perine and Peterson rank 1st and 4th respectively in the Sooners' all-time rushing category.

Not only would it be cool for Oklahoma fans, but if Peterson were able to crack the Broncos' roster, he would have a legitimate shot at becoming the fourth-leading rusher in NFL history.

NFL All-Time Leading Rushers

1. Emmitt Smith: 18,355 yards
2. Walter Payton: 16,726 yards
3. Frank Gore: 16,000 yards
4. Barry Sanders: 15,269 yards
5. Adrian Peterson: 14,918 yards

So, there would be some historical significance to Peterson returning to an NFL field in 2023. He would have a chance to not only surpass Barry Sanders being around 350 yards within striking distance, but he would also have a legitimate shot to simply cross the 15,000-yard mark.

If Frank Gore can run at the age of 40, why not Adrian Peterson, right? Perhaps the Denver Broncos should consider bringing him in for the offseason. At the very least, he can teach the rest of the young backs how it's done.

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